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Masks, Communion, Camps, Hospitality

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Beloved,

I’m sure by now you've all heard about the latest executive order Governor Abbott issued requiring everyone in the state of Texas 10 years old and up to wear a face-covering in public places. Thankfully, he has once again graciously provided an exemption for churches. You do not have to wear a mask at church but wearing one is strongly encouraged so let your conscience be your guide. One suggestion is to wear a mask when entering and while interacting with others and taking it off once you are seated and then putting it back on when you get up to leave.

This Sunday is the first Sunday of the month which is when we traditionally celebrate communion as a church. This will be our first opportunity to take communion together onsite since the coronavirus outbreak. In order to minimize the amount of contact while distributing the elements, we have purchased prepackaged wafer/juice combo cups and instead of passing the trays down the rows like we normally do the men will be walking down each row with the trays so everyone can simply take a combo cup and unwrap it and consume it when directed. For those of you who will be joining us via livestream, please prepare your own elements for Sunday morning (i.e. some bread or crackers and some kind of juice or wine will do). Normally, we would discourage anyone from taking communion privately in their homes since Christ intended this ordinance to be celebrated corporately when the church gathers together. But in light of our present circumstances, we don’t want those of you who can’t come to church right now to miss out on communion.

On another note, as you know we have been tentatively planning and promoting summer camps for both our children and young people. While we could modify these to fit within the new state and county guidelines, in light of the present uncertainty and lack of clarity and since camps don’t qualify as “essential” services but added extras, we think it is wise to postpone them until next summer in order to uphold the spirit of the measures our governing officials are taking to discourage large gatherings in order to avoid more extreme measures in the future.

Finally, in response to our recent series on practicing hospitality, we encouraged everyone to buy a copy of The Simplest Way To Change The World: Biblical Hospitality As A Way Of Life and read through it this summer. Those of us who have been meeting on Wednesday nights to discuss how we are being challenged to “excel still more” in this vital virtue have agreed to not meet this coming Wednesday in order to use that time to invite people in our church or in our community over to our homes for a meal. I want to encourage the rest of you to consider doing the same thing next Wednesday night as a way to put into practice what we have been learning about hospitality. Please be praying that God will use all of our open hearts and open homes to build relationships with fellow believers and/or build bridges with unbelievers in our neighborhood, workplaces, schools, coffee shops, gyms, etc.

We look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday!

Grace & Truth,

Ken Ramey
Pastor-Teacher